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Two Ukrainian defence ministry officials held for ’embezzlement’

Ukraine said Tuesday that it was holding two senior defence ministry officials on suspicion of embezzling $7 million earmarked for buying bulletproof vests. The announcements came as President Volodymyr Zelensky intensifies his anti-corruption drive, firing officials accused of graft in a bid to reassure Western allies sending wartime aid. The State Bureau of Investigation said the two officials, which it did not name, ordered “low-quality body armour” from abroad. “This led not only to the loss of 250 million hryvnia of budget funds, but also to the undermining of the country’s defence capability and a threat to the lives and health of army personnel,” it said. Both were currently in custody, it added. Several corruption scandals have rocked the defence ministry in recent months, prompting the resignation of wartime defence minister Oleksiy Reznikov in September. In August, Zelensky dismissed officials responsible for military conscription in every region of the country, citing corruption allegations that he said could amount to treason.

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